We met a music celebrity several years ago at a dinner given by some friends. We never expected to meet such a celebrity because we’re not in those kinds of social circles. This musician was Hal David, the writer of the words for What the World Needs Now Is Love. The music was composed by Burt Bacharach and sung by Jackie DeShannon.
Well, anyway, this songwriter was a very gracious and interesting man. It was fascinating to hear how he came to write the lyrics to this award-winning tune. And, as an added bonus that evening, the woman who sang the original release of this still-famous song was there with him.
So, you guessed it! Our hosts asked these two “stars” to sing their well-known song! And before we realized what was happening, we—and everyone else in the entire restaurant—were all singing along with them. What a once-in-a-lifetime treat!
Lust vs. Love
If you know the hit tune we’re talking about, you are probably already humming along, right? And we bet you also agree with the message of the song. The world still needs love...of which there’s still too little!
But note this powerful promise from God:
God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
(2 Timothy 1:7 nasb)
Love is a vital biblical quality to possess. And for both men and women, it is also an attitude that is often misunderstood. Our society confuses love with lust. Lust is a strong physical and/or sexual desire. It can occur without any associated feelings of love or affection, becoming a one-way street to self-fulfillment and self-gratification.
God’s Kind of Love
God’s kind of love, however, goes against all our normal tendencies. Unlike lust and self-gratification, God’s kind of love is directed outwardly toward others. That’s why God’s promise of love—His kind of love—is so important for us to understand. You must be careful not to confuse God’s brand of love with what the world and our society would call love.
This Bible promise—“God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of...love”—was given to a young preacher named Timothy. He was facing some pretty stiff opposition. Paul, his mentor, wrote to encourage Timothy to refuse to be intimidated and fearful. He was to remember that God had already given him a powerful resource that would combat his fear—love. Timothy is not the only person to whom God gave this powerful promise.
God has given every believer the resource of His divine love,
and that includes us.
His love “has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit”
(Romans 5:5 nasb).
This promise of His eternal, inexhaustible, and ever-present love should be most comforting. You have faced—and you will face—hardships, persecution, illness, and ultimately, death.
But these adversities should not cause you to be fearful nor ruin the quality of your life. Why? Because nothing (including these afflictions) “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
Father, even when affliction comes, may I rest in the assurance of Your ever-present love. Because Your love never runs out, I am able to persevere no matter what life brings my way. Amen.
A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible with Elizabeth George – God’s Word shows us His endless love for us and how we should love others. Pick up this devotional Bible for yourself or as a gift for a loved one!
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God’s kind of love is directed outwardly toward others. How can I show His love toward someone today?
Nothing (including afflictions) “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).